Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Nauseatingly cute

You have been warned.  This is nauseatingly cute.  And I have no shame when it comes to bragging on my niece and nephew.  They are hands down the cutest things on the planet.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Words, words, words!

I grew up in a family in which "S.U." (shut up) were bad words.  Sometimes we could get away with the initials and not have one sibling or another tell on you.  Somewhere around high school or college, we started to use the word "crap."  It was not met with great enthusiasm by my mother.  Now we use it fairly freely in speech while remaining aware it is not the most polite word.  I can count on one hand the number of times I heard my mother utter a four letter word, and it was almost always after smashing her toe into something.  In our family, we used polite words.

In the movies, on tv, and amongst my peers, there is a much broader range of vocabulary to be heard.  I have wrestled with this idea of polite language versus cussing or swearing.  I have friends who openly swear with a clear conscience and those who won't even say "Oh my gosh."  Biblical Counseling Guru Paul Tripp has some great thoughts on the subject.  (If you like this, check out his website or any book he has written.  I recommend Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change.)

How do you define what language is appropriate to use?  Is it merely cultural or also Biblical?
Also, do you distinguish between cussing (bad words) and swearing (using God's name in vain)?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Labor Day

This Sunday marked my third year Falls Churchiversary.  That is, it's been 3 years since I set foot in The Falls Church and found my NOVA church home.  Every Labor Day Weekend Sunday, the church has a fantastic tradition of highlighting our labors.  After the sermon, John Yates interviews a handful of people about their labor and how they see the Lord moving and working through them in their professions.  This year we heard from a big time political exec on Capitol Hill, a college ministry director, a lawyer, and a part-time doc/part-time mom.  All four shared lessons of what God had taught them about himself and how to love the people around them.

I left Sunday being reminded that my God does not fit into the hour and a half service on Sunday morning.  He doesn't fit into the 15 minutes I squeeze out for reading the Bible, or a prayer on the way to work.  He desires to be Lord over every minute of my day, not just the ones that I designate as God time.  Most of my day is spent in a school, teaching 4th graders and interacting with colleagues.  God wants to be there too.  What would my day look like if I invited God into all of those moments too?  How would I react to additional unwanted responsibilities or defiant kids?  How would I love my not so lovable colleagues or be a servant to those around me?

If I invite God in to those moments, I can't take the credit for my successes or good deeds.  My motive lies in bringing more honor to God because he is reflected to the world through us.  In closing his sermon John said, "Our works don't determine our salvation, but what kind of stewards of the Gospel we have been."  I want to arrive at heaven's door and hear "Well done good and faithful servant.  You lived your life in reflection of Me."

Yesterday I discovered a new song thanks to my sister Mollie.  It has been on repeat since.  I'm going to steal it and share it with you.

May the Words of My Mouth by Tim Hughes

May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart
Bless Your name, bless Your name, Jesus
And the deeds of the day and the truth in my ways
Speak of You, speak of You, Jesus

For this is what I'm glad to do
It's time to live a life of love that pleases You
And I will give my all to You
Surrender everything I have and follow You
I'll follow You

Lord, will You be my vision, Lord, will You be my guide
Be my hope, be my light and the way
And I'll look not for riches, nor praises on earth
Only You'll be the first of my heart

I will follow
I will follow
I will follow You